Brother Sun, Sister Moon- A Stained Glass and Fused Glass Skylight

Brother Sun, Sister Moon color sketchThis project was an opportunity to combine several of my favorite elements into a one integrated design:  the relationship of the sun and moon; the beautiful colors and chill of fall; the alchemy of wine.  The skylight was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of the client’s husband.  She wanted a design that would incorporate some of the vibe from the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon as a nod to their two children and would also incorporate a love for wine as her husband is a Master Sommelier.

Moon rake close-upBecause the panel will be viewed as a skylight and the dimensions are almost square, I decided to anchor the design on the diagonal.  It has a medieval almanac feel to it as the rays of the sun grow wider as the seasons move toward  summer.  Within the raked blue glass of the moon,  I kiln carved a flame and a soaring bird, calling to mind the light of Saint Claire and Saint Francis’ love for nature.

 

summer rake close-up“De cep en verre” (from the vine stalk to the glass) is a phrase I came across  while at a wine festival in Nolay, France.  This project offered the chance to explore the cycle of the vine in design.  The vine and leaves pass from spring to summer and on to fall ending with two glasses of wine in winter.  The leaves were created by raking glass with the hues to express the seasons.

 

ready to solder close-up fallI kept the leaves as circles to reinforce the cyclical nature of the seasons, the sun and moon, and the process of making wine. The outline of grape leaves are kiln carved into the back of the leaf circles.  The grape clusters were also created using raked blue, violet, plum and lavender glass with iridescent glass nuggets tack fused on the surface for depth.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon-finOnce all of the glass was cut, fused and wrapped in copper foil, I soldered the  panel, framed it and secured it with re-bar going both horizontally and vertically.  The panel will be suspended over people’s heads so it needed to be very stable.  It was crated and shipped to the client’s home where it arrived safely ready for installation.  She and her husband are both very pleased with the new addition to their home. Santé!

Michelle Caron

Cymru Am Byth – Wales Forever

Cymru Am Byth

Cymru Am Byth

close-up of the Welsh dragon panel

When I was asked to do this piece, my first thought was “too bad his wife isn’t from France.”  I am very familiar with the Welsh flag and I knew it would be a mighty challenge to do the Welsh dragon justice.  But the client’s wife is from Wales and how could I say no to such an opportunity.  I was hopeful that my idea to do the dragon with a mosaic-like approach would achieve the look I wanted.

I assembled the individual pieces of red glass in a somewhat irregular yet recognizable copy of the Welsh dragon using several red hues. I then added the background colors all on a clear piece of base glass. By damming the glass before firing, the glass pieces flowed into each other creating a fairly tight color array. I painted the detail onto the dragon using black glass enamel and fired the piece a second time.

Cymru panel with back light

I designed the border after symbols used for love spoons. In Wales, love spoons were carved by the groom and given to the bride on their wedding day. I chose the interlocking hearts, a version of the eternal knot, as it seemed a fitting expression of the client’s love for his wife. The red and green hearts with the connecting bands extend the colors of the Welsh flag.

 

I wanted this project to express the energy and pride of the Welsh flag and I feel that the combination of various reds and the slightly irregular shapes combined with the precision of the black outline accomplished this goal. Being of Welsh descent myself, it was an honor to do this project. Cymru am byth!

Michelle Caron